And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.“
— Luke 2:8–12
The shepherds were just doing their job, following their routine. They had no idea how, in an instant, their entire lives were about to change. The angel’s appearance was terrifying to the shepherds, because (1) it was unexpected, and (2) the announcement called for a response.
I don’t do well under pressure. I like to plan ahead and have plenty of time to prepare. When I feel I have a responsibility too big to handle, anxiety sinks in. I freeze up, and I can’t think straight. Have you ever felt like you’re not prepared for a challenge you’re facing? Or like you’re not good enough for the position you’ve been offered?
When I first heard about the worship internship at c|Life from a friend, I thought it was an amazing opportunity and would be such a cool experience, but that it wasn’t for me. I thought there would be better people for the job, someone more qualified, someone more talented. I hadn’t even really considered it until I was approached and asked to seriously think about it. This took me by surprise, and the thought was terrifying. Other people encouraged me, and I finally chose to take action and apply for the internship. When I got it, I once again was terrified and thought that this was not what I had planned. I had no idea what to expect. And me? Why me?
Well, I have since realized that it’s because God had better things in store for me. I had no idea how much this position would challenge me, change me and grow me in all aspects of life. God knows our deepest desires and wants to see us use our passions to glorify him. And guess what? God didn’t say we had to be the best or the most qualified to fulfill the purpose he’s given us.
The shepherds in Luke 2 were in the same type of situation. They didn’t know what to expect either! They had no idea what they were getting into. I’m sure they thought there were much better, perhaps cleaner, people that could’ve been chosen to witness the birth of the Savior of the world. But, instead of throwing out excuses, the shepherds took action. They didn’t miss out on the opportunity. They went, and they experienced the unthinkable.
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
— Luke 2:16–20
So why the shepherds? It’s the same reason for us today: God makes unqualified people qualified through him, so that his glory can be shown through the process and in the outcome.
“I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners to repentance.”
— Luke 5:32
…There is no one righteous, not even one.
— Romans 3:10
Jesus came for all people. No one deserves it, and no one can earn it. So what action do you need to take? What opportunity have you been given? Step up and let God use you. Allow him to be glorified through all that you do.